Johnson, Bassey excel on special teams
By Bill Coats
Friday, Nov. 16 2007

Todd Johnson and Eric Bassey had a couple of things in common Sunday: Each made
three special-teams tackles, sharing the team high. And each left New Orleans
with a headache.

Blows to the head are part of the routine for special-teamers, who ply their
trade by slamming into oncoming adversaries at full speed. Johnson and Bassey,
who play on all four special-teams units, were a bit woozy after the Rams'
37-29 victory over the Saints.

"You've just got to be full-out, non-stop," Johnson said. "Because really,
special teams is more want-to than anything else."

Johnson, 6 feet 1 and 202 pounds, is the team leader in special-teams tackles,
with 12. A free-agent pickup in the offseason, Johnson also is a reserve
safety; he started for injured Corey Chavous and had nine tackles Oct. 14 at

Johnson filled a similar role in three seasons with Chicago. "He's been
excellent, one of our most consistent players throughout the season," coach
Scott Linehan said.

Bassey, 6-1 and 200, has been on the active roster for four games and has five
tackles. A cornerback in his second NFL season, Bassey is seeking to promote
himself with a strong showing.

"You establish yourself first on special teams and then maybe you get an
opportunity later to play some defense," he said. "A lot of guys take that
route, and there's nothing wrong with that."

Along the way, Bassey is learning that special teams can be fun. "You can go
out there and turn it loose," he said. "You just run as fast as you can, as
hard as you can and make plays."

Incognito returns after knee surgery

By Bill Coats

Guard Richie Incognito was back at Rams Park on Thursday, 10 days after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. Incognito, placed on injured reserve Wednesday, played in four games this season.

A more severe injury to the same knee kept him out for his entire rookie season, in 2005. He started all 16 games last season, but a high-ankle sprain sidelined him for the first four games this season. He hurt his knee Oct. 28 vs. Cleveland.

"It's tough," Incognito said. "I've just got to take it in stride, rehab, get healthy and get back to 100 percent."

Moore promoted from practice squad
By Bill Coats

Defensive end Eric Moore is getting a free trip to San Francisco and a pay raise after being promoted to the 53-man active roster from the practice squad. "I've been waiting a little while. But everything comes and goes that way," said Moore, who hasn't suited up for a regular-season game since the final outing of the 2006 season.

With Leonard Little (toe) out for the season, Moore (6-4, 270) will provide depth behind starters James Hall and Victor Adeyanju.

"I'm excited; it's a lot better than the practice squad," said Moore, a third-year pro. "But you still do the same things, you prepare the same way."

You're paid much differently, though. Practice-squad members receive $4,700 weekly; Moore will collect about $25,500 this week. "Everybody definitely likes the check," he said, laughing.